I am posting this in both the Collector's Corner and Swap Shop forums.
My father decided to gift his Lane Banjo to me in lieu of selling it since I had expressed interest in playing it. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to devote to the instrument. It has remained in its original case for most of the past 40 years so it does not carry much sentimental value. I'm interested in now selling the banjo and giving the proceeds to my father.
I'm interested in opinions on the instrument's worth. There is no rush nor dire need to sell right away but I am willing to sell if the right offer comes along. Any advice is appreciated. I shared the pictures with a member here on Banjo Hangout who says it looks like one of Mr. Lane's earlier works.
I cannot put an exact date on the banjo but my father bought it sometime between 1975 and 1980 where I grew up in Savannah, Georgia. I know that Harry Lane was also from Savannah and was actually born just two months before my father.
Would appreciate your advice and comments. I'm happy to post or send additional pictures.
Edited by - Lynne on 01/31/2020 09:18:44
I would say that this was an early 70's. Sometime around 74-75 Harry had started doing fancier inlay patterns and flange-hole cuts. This flange is similar to ones he sold Ty Piper at Imperial Banjo. I don't know the model name for this one. Can you tell if the metal parts are nickel-plated brass or aluminum? This is a lower-priced Lane banjo evidenced by its lack of decoration.
It's difficult to place a value on these banjos as there are very few comparables on the market. There is no record of how many banjos Harry made. It varies from 40-80. Harry had no serial numbering system. If someone wanted a number he would provide whatever they wanted.
A Model D just sold to a BHO member on eBay for $3200. It's a much fancier banjo.Lane Model D
I estimate this would sell around $2200-2500 if you can find a Lane buyer. These banjos don't have a Gibson sound, so it is a niche market. I own 2 Lane banjos and have had several pass through my hands. Harry was a special friend of mine.
Edited by - beegee on 01/28/2020 07:21:06
I would second what Bee Gee stated above.
Lane banjos are incredible works of art. I felt like an idiot letting the one on eBay get past me, but timing was bad, but it went into the hands of a person who appreciates it, so that’s a good thing.
The lane banjo above is one of the most basic in design that I have seen of his, though as a player, I’m sure it’s great.
Small market for these. 40 something years ago, I dreamed of having one, but they were out of my price range.
I just picked up some old BNL's going back to 1975 or so that used to belong to Jim Rollins. One features Harry Lane. Send me a PM with an email address and I will send you a copy of the article.
'Italian name question,' 4 min
'Primitive banjo' 25 min
'1930's Vega Moderne' 2 hrs